19-year-old Joseph Flavill is living through the most confusing trial of his life after awakening from a 10-month coma and missing the crucial highlights of the coronavirus pandemic.
While the world battled the dreaded COVID-19, Joseph Flavill, a London teenager slipped in and out of consciousness over the last ten months battling for his life. The miracle of the experience remains how he missed the most crucial points of the coronavirus pandemic, including his own COVID-19 diagnosis.
The 19-year-old became comatose following a car collision on March 1, days before the virus swept through the world in full force. He encountered the tragic accident weeks before he was due to receive the Duke of Edinburgh Youth Achievement Award. The teenager, who until then was a cricket and hockey fanatic, ended up with a traumatic brain injury to the back of his head.
SHUT OUT OF REALITY
Tragedy struck the world days later, with the number of COVID-19 cases spiking from 23 to hundreds. Within weeks the state commenced a lockdown to control the outbreak. As a repercussion, Flavill’s family could not stay by his side through his long struggle.
While his mom, Sharon Flavill could only watch through a screen, covered in PPE, the rest of the family kept up with him virtually. Recounting the ordeal, Joseph Flavill’s aunt, Kate Yarbo divulged:
“He’s been in such pain. He’s had seizures, it’s been a horrible, traumatic journey for him.”
Compounding his tough battle for life, the teenager contracted the dreaded coronavirus while in a coma. Luckily, the survivor beat the risky phase of the ailment even in his unconscious state.
Although vaccines were available now to prevent a recurrence, Flavill’s aunt confirmed he was yet to receive a jab until he recovered fully from the virus.
THE MIRACULOUS RECOVERY
Flavill spent months lying unconscious in a hospital in Leicester, Central England. However, the family received a miracle in early 2021, when the hockey fan began showing signs of consciousness.
First, he smiled when the family played an audio recording to trigger his memory. Next, he blinked after his aunt asked him to promise that his first word upon recovery would be “pasty” during a Zoom call.
Yarbo then asked if he blinked on purpose, attracting two more blinks from Flavill. The family’s joy knew no bound following those initial signs that he could communicate.
Since then, his recovery has been exponential. Flavill has regained his sense of humor and control of his limbs, despite being unable to speak adequately.
A WHOLE NEW WORLD
Awakening after a long sleep was one half of the burden on Flavill’s family, who remain at a loss of how to integrate the teenager into his new world. A lot changed in ten months, affecting the educational system, healthcare sectors, mode of interaction, and the population in general.
Taking it all in at once may be so much load on the survivor. Hence, the family devised an easier means to pass on the message. Yarbo explained:
“We’ll be led by personal feelings: Did you know we weren’t there? That’s a big thing for his mom to emotionally manage. Watching him through a screen. You want to hold his hand. You want to be there all the time.”
Joseph Flavill spent his post-recovery days in a care-giver facility, working hard to regain full control of all his faculties. He has help from family friends and well wishes, who are all hopeful he would pull through this moment in one piece having lived through the worse.
His aunt, Yarbo reassured interviewers that her nephew was an energy force and the most determined person she knew. She remained hopeful Flavill had more grounds to cover without giving up.
Flavill’s miraculous recovery came weeks after the Memorial Satilla Health Center in Waycross, Georgia witnessed a real-life miracle. Last December, Lisa Martin, dubbed “Miracle Patient” stepped out of the treatment facility grand-style following her recovery from COVID-19-related complications.
Weeks prior, the hospital resolved to take her off the ventilator as she lay in an induced coma with no hope of recovery. Medical staff called in her family to bid their final farewells. However, Martin’s folks remained adamant that they let her be for eleven more days before leaving her for dead.
On the eleventh day, the survivor moved her hand, to everyone’s surprise. Lisa Martin, who shares four children with her husband of 29 years, Jeff Martin, believed the experience as God’s way of showing her how much people loved her.
Martin’s husband, a preacher, has since set out to use his wife’s story to encourage and help others dealing with seemingly hopeless situations, find a ray of hope.